Muscles as Femininity
This thread was inspired by something in apoet29's Kournikova's Crisis Deepens thread.
If you asked me who the most 'womanly' woman on the WTA tour was, I'd answer 'Serena Williams' without a second thought. That isn't entirely unbiased. There are at least 30 women in my family who, if you added 20 pounds or so, then adjusted weight in proportion to height, are built exactly like Serena. Hips, breasts, thighs, big arms. Only the athletes among them have Serena's definition of course but to me, Serena's body is not that far out of the ordinary. The women on both sides of my family are kinda built like that.
The article in poet's thread quoted Anna as saying "I hate my muscles. I don't want to look like they [Venus and Serena] do. I'm not masculine like they are."
First, as Venus would say, Anna's entitled to her opinion. (My own opinion is that comparing Anna to Serena is like comparing a match to a forest fire. But Anna has her fans and I say God bless 'em.) So, second, can we please lay off the Kournikova bashing in this thread? The quote actually points out an interesting problem for many players.
A lot of the women on the tour are going to find themselves faced with a difficult emotional issue. They've been told all their lives that defined muscles are 'unwomanly' or 'unfeminine'. Yet, they've become professional athletes. For professional athletes, ALL OTHER THINGS BEING EQUAL, more muscles means better performance. These women face a choice.
1) They can be lift weights, get bigger muscles, and (maybe) be more successful. But sacrifice their 'femininity', in their own eyes. (Of course, they are REALLY sacrificing any such thing, but if it's THEIR perception, they have to deal with it.)
2) Don't lift, and don't be successful.
Even Martina Hingis showed up this year with (slightly) bigger arms and shoulders, and more definition. (And IMHO, her famed 'touch' would NOT suffer if she added more muscle mass to her arms, SLOWLY, like over a year.) So it's fair to say that more muscles is something ALL the most successful players are going for.
What do you think of this?
Do you find muscles 'unfeminine'?
Would you accept mediocrity in your chosen profession rather than get more muscles?
What would you do if you genuinely felt your choices were getting more muscles or continuing to lose? But you also genuinely felt that muscles were 'unfeminine'?